Monday, August 29, 2011

Teach Me


My husband is a musician.  He gave Grande his first piano lesson last week.  He was all for it at first, excited to be able to play with his dad.  However after a while he grew bored and Mediano gladly took his place.  Mediano took right to the lesson, copying what his Papi was doing for quite a while.  And all the sudden, from the kitchen, I began to hear something beautiful.  Music.

I walked out to see Mediano playing the high notes while his Papi was playing the low notes.  And it sounded great!  But what did it take?  It took my husband taking the time to teach and it took my son’s willingness to learn. 

You see, the fact that their father is a musician does not automatically make my sons musicians.  For them to become like their father, he has to teach and they have to learn.

When we receive Christ, we are adopted into God’s family as His sons and daughters.  As His spiritual children we have the potential and opportunity to become like Christ, but it’s not automatic.  He is a good father.  He is always willing to teach.  How willing are we to learn?

Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.  Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25:4-5

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Simple Lesson Taught By A Skunk

This was the first blog I ever wrote!  Originally published on November 17, 2009.

This is a picture my husband took a while ago.  He works in construction and found this poor guy wandering around the site one day.  We have laughed a lot because of this picture and my sweetheart always shows it to everyone.  It’s hard to believe it’s not a fake.  But I was thinking about this poor little skunk today and am hoping never to end up like him.  I’m sure that when he saw and smelled the yogurt he was looking for something sweet and satisfying.  How many of us can identify with that?  But I started to think that it’s the same with sin.  The Bible teaches that satan appears as an “angel of light”.  No one falls into sin because they want their freedom to be taken away.  They fall into sin because they want to preserve their freedom.  Therein lies the trap.  Because when you sin and continue in that sin, it becomes a way of life, or an addiction, and so you lose the freedom you once thought you were preserving.  The skunk was looking for something good but ended up being trapped and blinded by it.  Samuel says it was running into things left and right and when animal control came for it, it walked right into the cage.  Let’s not walk into any cages today.  
“Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’”
John 8:34-36

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seeking Mercy

This was originally posted on May 31, 2011


What started out as a Saturday morning drive with my boys turned in to a Saturday morning walk this weekend. A few blocks from the house the car died and wouldn’t start. I wasn’t going anywhere important. Just to check out some garage sales. So I pulled the stroller out of the trunk, got the kids out, and abandoned my nutella latte and my car.
So I drove my husband’s work van to get groceries yesterday. It’s big. It’s awkward. I don’t like driving it.
I don’t consider myself to be the best driver. I’m certainly not a dangerous driver. I’m more likely to be overly cautious, because I know my own weakness. So driving anything other than my car makes me especially nervous.
As I was pulling out of the store parking lot, I stopped at a stop sign. I lifted my foot off the break and inched forward when I saw a car coming. I wasn’t even anywhere near entering the road, but I instinctively said “oops, sorry” out loud. Not that the other driver could even hear me. But I said it.
As I drove home I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It’s as if by nature I sought out grace and forgiveness. The humanity inside me was crying out for something that could cover my weakness.
We do find ourselves on a desperate search for grace and forgiveness almost constantly. Why? Because we need it. Because we sin. Because we mess up. Because we make mistakes. Because we are seeking out what only a Savior can give.
When I look back and see all the mercy the Lord has poured out over my life I’m in awe. It’s immense! It’s everlasting. It’s new and fresh every time I need it. It’s incredible. It’s amazing.
How I long for my boys to experience that same grace. I want to be a source of it for them. I want them to see in me an example of how the Lord forgives. How the Lord loves. I want to have that kind of grace for my husband and for my friends. I want to forgive quickly and be slow to anger.
And I want to be forgiven time after time after time.
I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. I remember it all-oh, how well I remember-the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left.
Lamentations 3:19-24
If you’re wondering about the picture, I thought that this pic of Matthew was much cuter than one of me driving the big work van. ;o)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How To Eat A Taco

Originally Posted April 29, 2011

For those of you who don’t know, my husband is Mexican.  Which in turn makes my children half Mexican.  So let’s just say I’ve learned a thing or two about tacos.  I thought I’d share my insight in true Devotion Mama style today.
Taco Tip #1  What you see in the picture above are NOT tacos!!!  They are an American fast food called tacos.  For the real thing you’ll have to go to Mexico or to a very select few taquerias here in the US owned by Mexicans where the cooks are Mexican.  Even then you run the risk of eating Tex-Mex which while it is not necessarily a bad thing isn’t Mexican either.  In Mexico there is no such thing as crunchy vs. soft tacos.  All tacos are soft and they are all made with corn tortillas.  A flour tortilla turns it into something completely different and could be called a burrito or a “gringa” (white girl).  
Taco Tip #2  A taco is generally served with just the meat inside.  This is usually NOT ground beef.  It can be made of a variety of meat including, but not limited to: steak, pork, tongue, and intestine.  Customers can typically garnish their tacos with lime, salt, salsa, onion, and cilantro.
Taco Tip #3  Regardless of what kind of taco you are eating, be it authentically Mexican, Tex-Mex, or Taco-Bell, do NOT eat it like Matthew in the above picture.  Doing so leaves you at risk of emptying the contents of said taco into your lap.  
We couldn’t help but laugh as we watched Matthew pick up his taco and bite into the bottom middle.  My first instinct was to correct him, to show him the correct way to eat a taco.  But I held my tongue.  I began to think.  Is there really a right way to eat a taco?  Sure there’s a cleaner way.  There’s certainly a more efficient way.  But is there a right way?  Is he really doing it wrong?  Isn’t the point to get the food in the tummy?  Isn’t the taco made to be enjoyed?  Can’t I let him be creative?  Maybe he’ll actually come up with a better way of eating tacos!
As I read through my taco tips I gain a fuller understanding of what a religious spirit does.   It takes something pure and good and adds unnecessary rules and regulations to it.  While I may be 100% correct in my taco tips in the end there is nothing wrong with enjoying an American style taco.  There’s nothing wrong with calling it a taco.  Regardless of whether or not you follow my taco tips the taco will still be a taco and you will enjoy it just as much.  
What unnecessary rules and regulations are we adding to God’s good, pure Word?  Can’t we be free to enjoy a relationship with Him without all the red tape we find so often connected to the word Christian?  Can we get back to His goodness and enjoy who He is?
Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that's not the way of Christ.  Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don't need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him.  When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.
Colossians 2:8-10

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


This was originally posted on September 27, 2010

My husband’s birthday was this past weekend.  We took a mini-vacation to Dallas.  Saw Veggie Tales Live on Friday night.  Stayed at a hotel, or as Josiah called it a “house for lots of people.”  And planned to go to the Holocaust Museum.  We could see the DART train from our hotel window and the boys were very excited about it.  They both asked to go on the choo choo.  We decided to take the train to the museum since it was not far away, we wouldn’t have to look for parking, and the boys would get their train ride.  
It was raining and even though the train stop was right across the street from the hotel we stepped in some puddles and were half soaked by the time we made it.  We decided to forgot the museum and just take a ride on the train.  As we rode we marveled at the huge buildings and scenery downtown.  Such a different lifestyle than that of the suburbs.  
As we continued on, we left downtown and entered some of the poorer areas of Dallas.  Again we noticed differences between what we were seeing and the area we live in.  This time we were seeing houses with bars on the windows and doors, and run down liquor stores.  
At one point a kid (probably about 14 years old)  got on and let out a puff of pot smoke.  Obviously high and accompanied by a prostitute he made me want to cry.  You could almost see the spirit of manipulation, hopelessness and bondage on him.  All I could do was pray.  
What do I know of DFW?  All I see is what’s in my circle.  Houses with well trimmed lawns, stores and restaurants, iphones and coffee shops, lacking nothing, abiding in the richness that is the presence of the Holy Spirit, while there is a world out there in need.  Help me to see.  Bring me to my knees for them.  Show me how to shine your light.
Feeling complacent?  I encourage you to take a trip on public transportation.  See the people.  Look them in the eye.  They are just like you.  Precious in God’s sight.  Jesus died for them.  Renew your prayer life.  Refresh your outlook.  See what God sees.
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Luke 10:29

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Pregnancy Companion Review and Giveaway


It’s here!  They wrote it!  The only bad part is it was published after my last son was already born.  
I had several favorite books during my pregnancies.  One that gave me the medical and developmental information I craved, one that inspired me spiritually, and another that guided me in how to cover each step of my pregnancy in prayer.
But now there’s “The Pregnancy Companion.”  And it covers all three of those areas in one book!  Written by Jessica Wolstenholm and Dr. Heather Rupe this book is one I really would have loved to have had during my pregnancies.  It’s written to be read month by month with the perfect mix of medicine and faith.  It puts common fears in perspective like what the real chances of having a baby with Down syndrome is.  Did you know that even at the age of 45 your chances of having a baby that does not have Down syndrome is 94.8 percent!  And of course if your younger your chances of having a baby without  Down syndrome are even better.  Looking at the facts in black and white really helps put our irrational fears aside.
I love this book and can’t wait to give it to the first friend who gives me good news of a new little blessing entering their family!  Who will it be?
You can find out more about “The Pregnancy Companion” at  And you can buy it by clicking on the image of the book below!

You can win a copy to!
How To Enter: 
Complete as many entries as you like.  Each is worth 1 entry.  Make sure to include a valid email address in your comment if you do not have one available in your profile.  Please write a separate comment for each entry.  The contest will close on Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. Open to Continental US residents only.  Winner will be chosen by an online random number generator.  Winner must respond within one week.
  1. Let me know who the book will be for.  You?  A friend?  A family member?
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  4. Subscribe to Devotion Mama by email
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  6.  Tweet this:  " @devotionmama is giving away a @pregnancypal book! "
Disclaimer:  This is a paid post for Mamas Write.  In addition to financial compensation I was given a book for review as well as one to give away.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Are You Watching?

Originally posted November 23, 2009

I met some ladies from my mom’s group today at the mall playground.  We meet there once or twice a month to let the kids play, chat and pray for each other.  When we first got there Josiah stuck close to me as usual.  But after a little bit he was running around playing with the other kids.  Every few minutes he would come running to me just to make sure I was still there and that I was still watching him.  And once he was assured that I was watching, he was off again running and laughing with pure childhood joy.  
Children have a natural need to be protected, cared for, and loved.  We as children of God have the same needs.  We also need to be protected, cared for, and loved.  And although we as parents fail our children from time to time, God is the perfect father and he never fails.  We can trust in His protection, care, and love.  The whole time we were at the playground I didn’t move.  I stayed in the same place and was constantly watching my son.  Even so, he felt the need to make sure.  Regardless of how we feel, God is always there.  His eyes are always on us.  God will never say “oh you did that?  I missed it.”  He is always present and all knowing, but yet we still seem to need to check every now and then to make sure He’s watching.  You may be in a time in your life where you’re not sure if the Lord’s still there, still interested, still watching.  Be assured He is.  And feel free to go running to Him just to make sure.  He won’t mind.  
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:15
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!
Matthew 7:9-11

Thursday, August 18, 2011

No Night Night!

This was originally posted December 4, 2009

My boy’s grandparents are here for the weekend!  Just my dad stopped by tonight though because it was late.  Josiah was so excited.  We’ve been telling him all week that Grandma and Grandpa were going to come play with him.  He had so much fun.  Running around, playing with his “choo choo”, doing a puzzle.  
It was great until we were all exhausted, Josiah included.  But he kept saying “more, more Pa”.  When he started crying and whining we said “ok Josiah night night”.  Then started the screaming “No night night!  No night night!”  Funny, he was so exhausted, what he needed was sleep, but he was fighting it with all he had.  I could see him clearly.  I knew he was upset and fussy and generally not happy.  I also knew that all he needed to be happy again and to feel better was to sleep.  Why couldn’t he understand what I saw as so simple.  
Wow, isn’t that how God must see us sometimes.  “Daughter, I have provided more than what you need.  I have a perfect plan for you.  Following my law will give you blessing, prosperity, peace, and an abundant life.  You’ll be happier.  All you need you can receive from me.  All you need is to be obedient.  It’s for your benefit.  It’s what’s best for you.  It is so simple.  Don’t you see it?”
I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it.  Instead, I do the very thing I hate.
Romans 7:15 NLT
When I want to do good, I don’t.  And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway.
Romans 7:19 NLT
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.  So you see how it is:  In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.  
Romans 78:25 NLT

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


First Posted on November 25, 2009

I am not perfect, neither are you.  And that is ok.  We are who we are, imperfect children.  There are many things that may seem unattainable in our lives, and some of them we may truly never attain.  I am 100% sure that in my lifetime I will not become perfect.  I will always fail at something.  But knowing that you will or may not be able to achieve something is not a reason not to try.  I was thinking about my house today.  I have been organizing, cooking, cleaning and taking care of children all day, and there are still dirty dishes in the sink, toys on the floor of nearly every room, and clothes in the dryer.  I am starting to realize that having a completely clean and organized house while having two very small sons may be something that will never be achieved for more than 10 minute stretches of time.  But I will keep trying.  Because although I may never attain it, all the effort I put in will continue to bring me closer and closer to my goal.  
This makes me think of Proverbs 31 and how many hours we as women have wasted trying to be just like “The Proverbs 31 Woman”.  First of all I personally do not believe this woman EVER existed.  Proverbs 31:10 starts out saying “A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.”  If the woman described in the following passages actually existed it would have started with, “I have found a wife of noble character”.  Although this passage gives a good example of what we should be like as wives and mothers, if we spend time trying to be just like her, we are missing what God has for us.  Even if she did exist, God gave her a calling and had plans specific to her.  Chances are you have a different calling and God has plans specifically made for your life using your gifts.  
There are things in this world that regardless of how impossible they are to attain, it is essential for us to try.  We will never achieve the perfection that is Jesus, but we try everyday to be just like Him and walk in His ways.  When the Lord reveals to us His plans and His purpose for our lives although we may never see them completed (remember Moses never made it to the promised land) we will find satisfaction and live a life that glorifies Him when we constantly work towards fulfilling that which He has laid out before us.  If you’re not sure what God has for you, ask Him today.  In His time and in His own way He will reveal it to you.
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection!  But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.  No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing:  Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
Philippians 3:12-14 NLT
For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Clean My Lollypop

Originally Posted December 10, 2009

My son came to me asking me to clean his lollypop with water.  So I did.  But it reminded me of how not long ago he needed a lollypop cleaned and decided to do it himself instead of asking for help.  The picture above is of the lollypop after being cleaned by Josiah with toilet paper.  Not the best lollypop cleaning method.  
When it happened I posted it on Facebook saying that it reminded me of how our lives end up sometimes when we try to clean things up ourselves instead of asking God to do it for us.  We are human, and regardless of how hard we try, we can’t achieve forgiveness ourselves and we can’t cleanse our own souls.  That’s God’s job.  Sometimes there are just situations where we have to turn it over and say “God change me!”  There are things that are just to big for us to handle on our own.  We need God to take over and we need to work with Him to change those things.  
If I spill mustard on my white shirt, I can do everything possible not to spill anymore.  I can start eating plain hotdogs with no sauce.  I can wear a bib.  I can be very careful.  But none of that will remove the mustard that is already there.  In this aspect we can think of God’s word as the super amazing stain remover!  That not only will remove the stains we already have, but will be there to remove any future stains also.  It’s awesome when times are tough and we find ourselves not being super mom to know that we don’t have to do it on our own.  
Just as Josiah couldn’t clean his own lollypop, we can’t clean our own lives.  Praise God He does it for us.
I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.  
Jeremiah 33:8

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear them from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Friday, August 12, 2011

Boy Praise

This video is just a glimpse into our family life.  This is how we do family devotions at the Sanchez house.  Because we have boys.  And they are active.  And they are young.  They are children.
It may seem that they are just running around in circles.  But if you look close you’ll see their praise.  If you look past what they’re wearing.  If you look past their running.  You’ll see their joyful worship.  If you listen closely you can hear their little voices joining into the song.  In their own special way.
I find myself shushing them.  I find myself telling them to calm down.  I find myself getting frustrated with their immaturity.  I find myself trying to teach them to be miniature adults when they are just children.
But Jesus doesn’t ask us to teach our children to be little adults.  He actually instructs us to do the opposite.  To look at them.  To learn from them.  To be more like them.  So I’ll join them as they run, and play, and praise the Lord.
I’ll just do it wearing more clothes than they were.  LOL.  (For those who don’t know we have been at or over 100 degrees for 40 days in a row now here in DFW!  It’s way to hot for little boys to wear clothes.)
At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, "Who gets the highest rank in God's kingdom?"
For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in.  Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom.  What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me.
Matthew 18:1-5

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On Your Marks


As a boy mom I see my share of races.  Toy car races.  Running races.  Sliding races.  Who can get in the car faster races.  Dinosaur races.  But regardless of the type of race they all start the same.  At a starting line, with the words, “on your marks, get set, go!”  
Our spiritual race is much the same.  We must train to be ready and begin at the starting line.  As parents we are entrusted with the training of our children.  Will they be trained properly for the race?  When their race begins will they be on their marks?
What can we do today to prepare them for the race they will run tomorrow?
You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win.  All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Abundant Lollypops


The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10
Isn’t this the picture of abundant life?  Seriously.  A two year old with not one, but two lollypops!  Isn’t this what Jesus came to offer?  A life of abundance?
So where does that fit in when we struggle financially?  Where’s the abundance when we have a difficult time finding the money we need to pay our bills, care for our children, plan for the future?  What can I say to a Christian in a foreign country who lack even the most basic thing needed for survival like clean water and food.
Is there some sin keeping us from that elusive financial abundance?  Could it be that Christ’s promise was only for some?  Or did He not really bring that abundance he promised after all?
Or could it be that the abundant life he speaks of goes far beyond being simply financial.  Could it be that an abundant life is possible even in the remote regions of Africa or the crowded cities of India?  Can we live abundantly in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control regardless of the balance of our bank accounts?  Or will it take us truely crucifing our flesh along with it’s passions and desires to begin to live a truly abundant life?
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.  And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 
Galatians 5:22-24

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Family Illustrated Bible Review

We received yet another great family resource from Master Books this month.  I really like this book and will surely be using it with my boys throughout the years to come.  It's in essence a Bible story book for children.  It's a bit more wordy than the typical children's Bible story book.  I like that.  It helps focus on and teach one story at a time which should help them learn and apply the Biblical principles easier.

The Family Illustrated Bible also contains background information pages that will be especially helpful in our homeschooling Biblical studies.  It's full of great illustration and offers plenty to teach and learn.

For example, among the stories taken from the book of Acts there is a page with a timeline, and explanations of the early church and the key people involved in it's foundation.  Among the stories taken from Genesis, there is information about ancient Egypt, the Pharaohs, and the Nile River.  You'll learn facts like that the Nile River flooded every year just in time to plant crops in the well watered land and that the Israelites spent 430 years in Egypt before being led out to the Promised Land by Moses.  It's the perfect way to tie Biblical study to the study of history.

My husband was especially taken with this book.  He remembers having a similar book when he was younger and reading it as a young child and continuing to read and learn from it over the years.

Join the next Twitter Party to win your copy of The Family Illustrated Bible and more:
Tuesday, August 23 at 8pm central
follow @masterbooks4u and @mamahall
use the #TeachtheTruth hashtag
and #tttrollcall – to let us know you’ve joined the party
Important Note: Our #teachthetruth events have attracted skeptics and people in need of Jesus. We are turning their involvement into an opportunity to pray for them. You will see us use “1:18 crowd” as a reminder to pray. 1:18 refers to 1 Corinthians 1:18 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” It will help us remember that they are in darkness and need a Savior.
The Moms of Master Books will review the Family Illustrated Bible and provide great questions from those reviews for the party. Read their reviews and you will be super-prepared to win. Meet the Moms of Master Books reviewers below:
Save the date, read the blogs, and invite your friends to the #TeachtheTruth Twitter Party!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Waiting For Papi


My son’s bedtime routine is quite in depth.  It involves milk, back rubs, febreze, pillow pets, his special blanket, his stuffed dinosaur, reciting memory verses, back scratches (which he calls tickles), and several matchbox cars.  Tonight my husband was eating when my oldest was ready for his back scratch/rub from Papi.  So Samuel told him to go lay down and wait.  He’d be there in a minute.  So off went Josiah to lay down.  Two minutes passed and he was back in the kitchen telling his Papi, “Papi, I already wait!  Come, come.”  
He didn’t quite understand that wait meant wait until I come.  Or maybe his patience ran out.  
Do we run to God saying the same thing?  “Papi, I already waited!  Where’s what you promised?  Shouldn’t it be here already?  Isn’t it time yet?” 
I recently heard a pastor teach on Daniel 10.  He spoke about how Daniel’s answer had taken three weeks to arrive.  But Daniel waited.  Daniel fasted.  Daniel prayed.  
He said something that stuck with me.  “Pray until something happens.”  
My husband was on his way to put my son to bed.  God is sending the answer to your prayers.  Be patient.  Be persistent.  And wait, trusting that Papi is on His way.

"'Relax, Daniel,' he continued, 'don't be afraid. From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you.  But I was waylaid by the angel-prince of the kingdom of Persia and was delayed for a good three weeks. But then Michael, one of the chief angel-princes, intervened to help me. I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia. And now I'm here to help you understand what will eventually happen to your people. The vision has to do with what's ahead.'
Daniel 10:12-14

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Closer Than A Brother


We went to McDonald’s for lunch the other day.  There were lots of kids in the play area but my sons obviously preferred to play with each other.  In fact the times they did get separated they were quick to call out to each other.  Matthew would peek out the top of the play structure and yell, “Siah,  whe are ewe? (Josiah, where are you?)
My boys stick close to each other.  Even when we are at home they are rarely more than 4 feet from each other.  If that’s how close brothers are, what does it mean to have a friend who sticks closer than that?
That He’s always with you.
That He knows your every breath.
That He knows what you need before you do.
That He lives in you.
That He never leaves you.
That He who created you humbled Himself to become like you.
That He has given everything for you.
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

Wednesday, August 3, 2011



I tend to have multiple unfinished projects at any given moment.  Be it a sewing project, home decor, project, cleaning project, writing project, etc. I’m sure to have more than one in process.
As I was looking at the one in the picture above it occurred to me that it just wasn’t pretty.  In fact most projects aren't very nice to look at when they are only partially finished.  I’ve seen people make things that when in process I seriously doubt they could ever be beautiful.  But when they’re finished they are a work of art.  Half way through many things appear to be be worse than before they were started.
It’s something I’m trying to remember when I look at myself.  Somedays when I look in the mirror I see a half finished project.  It’s not pretty.  I’m frustrated, lacking in skills and patience.  I’m full of faults.  I can easily loose sight of the woman God is making me to be.  I can’t see past the unfinished parts.  
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
Philippians 1:6

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Goldfish Vs. The Shark


We go back and forth between two cheesy kid crackers at our house.  Depending on where I’ve grocery shopped we either have goldfish or sharks.  Matthew asked for goldfish.  All we had were sharks.
This led to about 30 minutes of temper tantrum throwing, demanding goldfish, refusing sharks, and my trying to get him to understand that my giving him goldfish wasn’t an option.  All I had to give him were sharks.  I have to say this was one of the worst fits he’s ever thrown and I finally just left the room.  
After screaming a little longer, he shows up in the kitchen and asks me for . . . SHARKS!  So I gave him a bowl of sharks and he walked off munching contentedly.  
It was like the tantrum had never even happened.  He had been so angry.  But he got over it.  I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even remember it.  It’s just gone.
That is how I want to get over things.  That is how I want to forgive.  I want to be separated from my sins as far as the east is from the west.  I want to forgive, be forgiven, and move forward.  I don’t want to dwell on or waste time remembering my tantrums.  They’ve been forgiven.  They’ve been erased.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins.
Psalm 103:12